Craccum puts out a lot of horseshit to meet deadlines. As a section editor for a few years, I am a pioneer in that field, for many of my listicles have been utterly unreadable, but they have filled a page. And I have collected my minimum wage payslip every two weeks, AUSA accounting delays notwithstanding! But this is different.
With this being the last issue of the year, and my last after four years of writing here, I feel like I should start this off with a few confessions. Just really getting some heavy feelings on my chest.
With that all out of the way, I wanna reflect and perhaps evangelise a little. Craccum means a lot to me. I’m very sad to be going, and I’m going to miss all of what it means to me. It has been my main way of making friends here, and oftentimes, it has been the only reason I bothered to turn up at Uni. The office is one of the few spots on campus that truly allows any sense of self-expression. It’s a bright light, one of the few sparkling points of joy in UoA’s black hole. This Uni sucks! It’s a vampiric beast, it seeks out nothing but to leech your nutrients and watch you slump against a wall. UoA sucks the marrow out of you and drops you into the ground, waiting for your remaining lifeforce to exit your body, so it may then latch onto your soul with its ashened grip and suck out what remaining life still persists in your being.
The UoA concrete sprawl is but a breeding colony for the Lich, a festering hive of endless construction and bureaucratic corpse demons that subsist solely on geckos and your tuition fees. This University is neoliberal anti-matter, violently explosive to the idea of art and anything that resonates to the curious human spirit. In a truly God-fearing universe, the sun would have hyper-focused its rays on the three remaining structures that haven’t been torn down to make room for hostile architecture and bloated sports centres, and hordes of rats would consider the scorched remains their veritable Metropolis. It doesn’t care about you, and it never will.
The point being that while UoA (minus the lovely lecturers I respect!!) should be cast back in Tartarus with the rest of the traitorous Titans, Craccum is important and I don’t know what I would have done without it. I dropped out of Uni in 2014 after I, rather frankly, went a bit insane. I was extremely depressed, isolated from human connection to the point of not talking to anyone for days. I would go to exams and not write a single word. Real ‘put up the barriers on the General Library’s windows’ shit. When I threw up at the thought of stepping foot on a bus to get within 50k of the campus, I knew I couldn’t return for a long time. And so I didn’t. I worked on myself, got (mostly) back to normal, and only returned in 2017, when I knew I would be able to get my degree without falling prey to #mentalillness and the metaphorical obsidian tentacles of the campus. But it wasn’t working. I had reached the end of 2017, and while I could continue on, I just didn’t have anything to show for it outside of normal grades and a few kisses with a guy who would become my boyfriend.
And then I picked up the final issue of 2017’s Craccum, cast aside in a toilet, the honourable fate of many a Craccum magazine. (You still read us! So even if our page is covered in your piss, we still won.) I read it. I remember thinking to myself that I could write like that. I could write something stupid, or be funny, or care about something. I wanted something regular to contribute to, I wanted something at this University that I could remotely connect to. The next year, I sweated immensely while plopping a rushed draft of two shitty columns on the desk of the new editors, and got hired. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Craccum is not irreplaceable, but it was irreplaceable to me. It saved me from years of boredom, years of stumbling over my own neurotics and being unable to get past my own hangups. It’s not a family, in that generic ‘let me abuse you’ corporate speak, it does not wish to be anything like that. But it has allowed me to go see many great events, talk to wonderful and interesting people and write about whatever the fuck I wanted, and most importantly, it taught me so much about how to relate to people and actually make some friends. There isn’t a better place for it at the Uni. I’ve found so many sick cunts that I care about, and amazingly, people that care about me. And I really want the same for you. If you actually want something to contribute to, something that will actually feel valued, please, pick up this toilet magazine and give it a go. Even as we shift to different life paths, my old Craccum groups still get together to drink and eat and talk shit. What else can you want? Craccum is a fantastic place to hone your talent, an environment that actually gives a shit about you. It is run out of a fucking broom cupboard above the food court, so there’s even something for the remaining Harry Potter stans on campus.
The Covid era will fuck us over. We have spent much of this year online, and yet we still have successfully published many interesting, impactful, funny and relevant works from students. It was horrendously stressful, but we did it. Our success will be to our detriment, because we survived without needing to tap into the finances much. Like the fate facing many associations around the campus, the budget hawks will be breaking sound barriers to cut our funding in the next couple of years. But let that challenge be something you overcome, as I promise it will be worth it. Craccum needs people who actually give a shit about the students here, who are willing to write what is needed.
This little prom night dumpster baby has been something precious to me for a long time, and I hope you find the same joy in it that I do. I need to get a career, and I’m too tall to fit in that broom cupboard now. But I’m gonna miss this magazine, even if it does have the single worst name for a written publication ever.